is this enlightenment?


to discover the urgency of self-love to negate self-abandon?

to know the pain of too much love?

bound-less love (I thought)

boundary-less (you say)


to feel the waves of anxiety, nausea




knowing that this too is transient

seeking solace in the impermanence of all things


is this enlightenment?


to sink into the depths of hopelessness and despair

but somehow not drown

to love someone with every fibre of your being

without the expectation of reciprocity

to weave a tapestry from which new narratives may emerge?


is this enlightenment?


to meet once again the little girl with Big questions that no-one would answer

“not now!” they chided

her untrimmed fringe concealing those large, enquiring imploring eyes

those eyes that held pools of fear, even then – at five, six

terrified at the sheer vastness of it all – the unending infinity of the universe

“not now!” they chided

and into silence she was cast


is this enlightenment?


to embrace that terrified little girl who walked around

dragging an Ancient Heaviness that was not hers to carry

her inheritance

her own branded Trans Generational Transmitted Trauma


is this enlightenment?


to tell her that this Darkness she was born into

(they told her the lights went out at the time of her Birth)

is illuminated if you open wide enough to see, listen, feel


to tell her that she is worthy

and not the burden she has always felt she was (but the carrier of the Burden)


is this enlightenment?


to watch this body constantly change, knowing that it too is merely a conduit

a temporary residence for your soul

and to gawk, at once, at both its enduring strength and palpable fragility


is this enlightenment?


to stop striving just for a while

to relinquish effort and the notion of painful gain

to stop trying to mend broken things


is this enlightenment?


to dust the remnants of the dark night from heavy eye-lids that chased sleep in vain

to emerge bleary-eyed

disrobing the layers and layers of

guilt, self-loathing, shame, confusion, worry

to part the curtain and be met with nothing less than a spectacular display of Nature conducting her symphony, with or without your presence


to be moved to tears that distort your vision

this surreal sacred mountain that towers before you

shrouded in layers of mist


the black sky draped over her

pierced by dazzling stars that seem to shine brighter

and Sister Moon smiling over this arrangement

illuminating silhouetted figures in the dark as she slowly descends

but not before greeting the Splendid Sun rising on the other side


day and night simultaneously beginning and ending


how does one recover form the sheer poetry of that?!


is this enlightenment?


to accept the duality of the universe

the dark with the light

the light with the shadows

the joy with the sorrow

the pain with the pleasure


to know that This is life

in all its multitude of visceral experience


life is a mountain, a tree, an ant


this is life


with all that has been

all that is

and all that is yet to be


is this enlightenment?



Ayesha Sabat
Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat, September 2018

© Ayesha Sabat